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Republicans unhappy with 12 Years a Slave’s Oscar win

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The decision to award race drama 12 Years a Slave the 2014 Oscar for best film was unpopular among supporters of America’s Republican party, according to a new study.

Only 15% of participants who identified as Republican voters said they felt the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had made the right choice for the annual awards ceremony’s top prize. The figure compared to 53% of Democratic party supporters who said Steve McQueen’s slavery biopic, which also won best adapted screenplay (for John Ridley) and best supporting actress (for Lupita Nyong’o), deserved its success. Overall, 52% of respondents told Public Policy Polling they were not sure which film should have won.

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The survey of 1,152 registered voters, which was carried out online and via the telephone, suggests attitudes towards 12 Years a Slave’s harrowing depiction of the realities of slavery in the antebellum deep south are divided sharply on political lines.

12 Years a Slave was not feted by the Obama administration in the run up to the Oscars. The president chose instead to praise another film with a civil rights theme, Lee Daniels’ The ButlerA White House screening was also staged for the Nelson Mandela biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

• 12 Years a Slave: could only a Brit really have made it?

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014


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Outrage as Trump sets bar for ‘good job’ on coronavirus: ‘Ready to hang a Mission Accomplished sign over 100,000 caskets’

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In a Sunday evening coronavirus press briefing President Donald Trump not only extended the federal government's social distancing policies to April 30, he extended beyond credulity what most would consider a good job.

Many are outraged after the President declared that he could have done nothing to battle the coronavirus pandemic and, according to scientific models, 2.2 million Americans would have died. Trump on Sunday then declared if less than 200,000 people in the U.S. die from coronavirus he should be praised.

“And so, if we could hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000 – it’s a horrible number, maybe even less, but to 100,000, so we have between 100 [thousand] and 200,000 [coronavirus deaths] – we altogether have done a very good job.”

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What we know — and don’t know — about possible coronavirus treatments promoted by Trump

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President Donald Trump’s excitement about decades-old anti-malarial drugs to treat the coronavirus has touched off widespread interest in the medications, hoarding by some doctors, new clinical trials on the fly and desperation among patients who take them for other conditions.

Many experts say there isn’t enough evidence that the drugs work for the coronavirus, but at least a few say there’s little to lose in giving hydroxychloroquine to patients who are severely ill with coronavirus.

“It’s unlikely to worsen COVID-19, and given that it might help ... we have literally nothing else to offer these patients other than supportive care,” said Dr. David Juurlink, an internist and head of the division of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Toronto in Canada.

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Israel’s Netanyahu under precautionary COVID-19 quarantine

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his close aides have been placed under precautionary quarantine after a staffer within his office tested positive for COVID-19, the premier's office said Monday.

In a statement, Netanyahu's office made clear that the quarantine decision was purely precautionary as the veteran prime minister had not been in recent contact with the ill staffer.

"The preliminary assessment is that there is no need for the prime minister to be quarantined, as he did not come into close contact with the individual and did not personally meet with that person," the statement said.

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